Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Weighing in on Linens ’n Things

News of impending store closings in Lincoln, Neb., is generating as many column inches as the Nebraska Huskers’ no. 5-ranked baseball team.

Bloggers are particularly busy trading rumors and predictions for facts as they try to anticipate what retailers are closing in Nebraska’s capital city.

The biggest buzz right now is over Linens ’n Things’ upcoming closure of 120 stores nationwide. Relieved that Lincoln wasn’t on the shutter list, but Omaha is, capital city residents have made LNT a hot topic of discussion.

“I know you were all worried ... [but] Lincoln’s Linens ’n Things is not among the 120 stores the company is closing due to its bankruptcy. However, Omaha isn’t so lucky,” blogged a Lincoln Journal-Star Biz Buzz writer on May 12. “While Lincoln dodged that bullet, there are a lot more coming. Chains that have announced plans to close multiple stores include Zales, Foot Locker and Charming Shoppes, which owns Lane Bryant.”

Bloggers are chatting back and forth about what stores they think are going to close, which ones they feel should close, the rapidly emptying Westfield Gateway Mall on the east side of town, the new corporate silence that surrounds what was supposed to be a new Kohl’s on the south side.

My bet is that my hometown isn’t alone in its retail chatter. The topic of store closures will likely be keeping bloggers busy for the rest of the year.

—Katherine Field

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